I'm going through a refining process right now. I'm learning lessons I really need to learn in an environment that is painful yet not mortally wounding. I'm in a situation where the rules keep changing, the players don't follow conventional rules, and it's not fair. I could go into the details so you could know how crazy the situation really is, but it's a moot point. I don't believe the point to my refining process is to BE right. Peripherally, I think I need to truly believe in myself and in my rightness, based on the particulars, but the details of what I'm learning are still a little fuzzy because I'm in the middle of it right now.
Here's what I've gained so far:
- My self-worth is not based on others' opinion of me.
- I am a mother and wife first. My work life is not allowed to dominate my personal time. No matter how much pressure others put on me. My belief and action in this fact must be internalized and stand up to all the criticism and bullying that can be thrown at me.
- I have given power to others' by caring about their opinion.
- No matter what I do or how much I give, I will never gain acceptance or gratitude. 9 days ago, I stopped trying. After years of pain in my upper back and shoulders, I feel great.
- I have been a slave to fear for far too long. Like Timothy from the New Testament says, God is not the author of fear but of power, of love and of a sound mind.
- Never, ever back someone into a corner, believing your reality, agreed upon by those around you does not make you safe. There is a possibility that the person you are bullying relentlessly and shamelessly will realize she has nothing to lose and put things into motion on a much higher level.
- Much, much higher level.
- Study the labor laws. All the articles published on the web give you a sense of hopelessness. Labor laws can be used in subtle conversation when discussing the situation with people who matter.
- And care about public image and relations.
- And recognize the ramifications of the situation.
But that's been my reality ever since I, apologetically, announced that, due to my husband's brain surgery, I could really and truly only work part-time like I was being paid to do. I lacked conviction in my approach. They got mad at me. My supervisors didn't support me. In fact, they passive-aggressively supported my colleagues.
I'm burning bridges. I'm making enemies. But, like I said, what do I have to lose anymore? But I'm standing up, alone. I don't mind it. My heart is not full of revenge or hatred. It's full of respect and love for myself.
I think that might be the greatest gift of all.